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Posted on: Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Eco-Tourism in August

Neutralise your “carbon footprint” – Grow a Tree

Posted to: Miscellaneous
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Grow A Tree Starter Pack

Grow A Tree Starter Pack

Neutralising one’s “carbon footprint” seems to be the catchphrase of 2009. What does this mean exactly? Well the basic idea is to plant a tree to negate the effects of all of the carbon emissions we are responsible for, in our daily lives. The rule of thumb is:

“For every 5000 km you travel in a car or for every 5 hours you spend on a plane, you should plant 1 tree. If you never travel in a car or a plane, you should plant 10 trees to neutralize the effects of your household.”

So, now that you know what to do, how and where can you do it?

For those with green fingers, get down to your nearest nursery and buy the seeds with which to grow your own tree. Some indigenous options which will beautify your garden, sidewalk or neighbourhood include the Fever Tree, Cape Chestnut, Pompon Tree, Wild Pear and Forest Elder, though your nursery will be better able to advise you of the best options for your area.

Grow A Tree (based in Gauteng), the brainchild of Sean Hide, sells 12 varieties of indigenous tree seeds in brown, white or green hessian bags. But more than that, Grow A Tree is actively involved in educating children in South Africa about the importance of trees. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can sponsor a tree for only R20, which will be planted in a community area.

Another project well worth supporting is Indigenous Trees for Life (an initiative of Wildlands Conservation Trust, based in KwaZulu Natal). This conservation project is community based and teaches disadvantaged communities (primarily orphaned children) to grow indigenous trees from seed, which are then bartered for goods donated to the Wildlands Conservation Trust by corporate sponsors. The trees are then planted in communities leading to “Urban Greening”. Sponsorships and donations are most welcome.

September, the beginning of Spring in South Africa, is Arbor Month. Food & Trees for Africa receive requests from schools and communities looking to “green” their environs and provide valuable information, advice and assistance. Make a donation, become a corporate sponsor, buy trees as a charitable gift, volunteer your time or simply use their CO2 Calculator to work out your carbon footprint.

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